I was contracted to scenic paint a prop gun for an independent feature that involved a Viet Cong soldier during the Vietnam War. An airsoft AK47 was chosen for the film, and weathered to look battlefield-worn.
A $150 mid-grade airsoft gun was chosen to be weathered to make it look like it had been carried through the jungle for a decade or so.
While the receiver cover and barrel/sight assembly were metal, most of the gun was plastic. I used a combination of sandpaper, blunt tools, spray paint, acrylics, and actual dirt to scenic the gun.
To make the gun look aged, it was scratched and roughed and dropped multiple times on concrete to simulate wear and tear. The metal parts were sanded down to expose the silver underneath and make it seem the finish had worn off.
Once the gun was roughed, I dry-brushed the “metal” parts with silver spray paint. This further enhanced the worn-finish look and made it appear the entire gun was made of metal.
Once the silver was applied, I used burt sienna acrylic paint to simulate rust.
The plastic imitation wood furniture is bright and plasticy with an unnatural red coloring to it. I sanded and beat it the same as the rest of the gun and the did several passes of black paint to darken it. This took away the plastic quality as well as the reddish coloring.
Once the wood was darkened, I did passes of black paint over the whole gun to darken the shiny metal parts and simulate dirt and filth. Some real dirt was applied for added effect.
Production requested that fake blood be added onto the gun for added “war-torn” look. The strap was also painted and dirtied to match the gun, and a layer of matte spray finish was added to seal everything in.
This was an immensely fun project to work on, and allowed me to demonstrate my gun scenicing skills on a screen-used piece.